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The Cost of Moving

Shopping for a new rental is a lot of things: exciting, stressful, filled with possibility…and expensive. Some of the costs are obvious (you’ll need to pay a month’s rent before moving in), but some things don’t come as readily to mind. Before you pack up, take the following into consideration.

All the best in your search for a rental, and may your move be classier than this.


Security deposit. The landlord will require some amount of money to hold in security. It’s often about the cost of one month’s rent. When you move out, the landlord will use this money to make repairs for damages you’ve caused. Usually this is small stuff like sheetrock repair from holes where you hung art on the walls or replacing broken blinds. Any money left over will be returned to you after you move out.

Utilities. If the landlord has you take over utilities in your own name, you may have to put down a deposit depending on your credit history. Call each utility company to check whether they’ll require a deposit. This can add up quickly if you’re required to put down a $200 security deposit each for gas, water, and electricity. While you’re checking into utilities, take the time to find out about transfer costs for your Internet, cable, and phone services.

Hauling stuff. Even if you have a truck and plan on moving your belongings yourself, the several trips will cost you in gas. If you don’t have a big vehicle, check out the costs of renting a vehicle from UHaul or another company.

Other costs. Ask the landlord about any other costs you may be charged. Some require the last month’s rent as well as the first (that’s not legal in Montana, but if you’re moving out of state it may be). If you’ll be required to maintain the yard, you’ll eventually need a lawnmower, weed killer, a rake, and a snow shovel. Some charge an extra deposit if you have pets or if you’re using storage facilities on the property. Take into account whether you’ll need new or different furniture, window coverings, or other household accessories. And don’t forget food. Stocking a new pantry can add quite a bit to your costs.

Finding out the costs upfront ensures that you’ll know with confidence that you’ll be able to pay the next month’s rent after you move, which is always a popular way to kick off your relationship with a new landlord.

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